Maharajah Jungle Trek – Asia – Animal Kingdom
This article appeared in the April 19, 2000, Issue #26 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
The Maharajah Jungle Trek is one of the most beautiful parts of Animal Kingdom. As you begin your journey through this magnificent land be sure to take time to look at your surroundings. Almost immediately upon entering the land of Anandapur the art, architecture and landscaping will immediately transport you half way around the world to Asia. As you cross the bridge into Asia, even before you actually enter the Maharajah Jungle Trek, chances are you will hear the Gibbons! They are LOUD!
Their voices can be heard up to 2 miles away. The Gibbons are members of the ape family, not the monkey family. They have longer arms and no tails. Amid the temples and memorial pillars of Anandapur you will find the white-cheeked gibbon Hylobates concolor and the larger siamang Hylobates syndactylus. The Siamangs will likely be overhead and swinging from tower to tower. If you listen, you can hear the "hoots" that allow them to mark their territory and communicate.
The Siamangs are the loudest land mammal, their vocal sac can inflate to the size of their head. The male gibbons are black and the females golden.
Come around the bend into the first animal viewing area and discover the home of the Komodo Dragon Varanus komodoenis. Komodo dragons are indigenous to Indonesia and are the world's largest lizard. They seek warm areas during the morning and cooler areas during the day. The average life span is 20 years, however they can live to be 40-60 years old. Komodo Dragons are solitary animals except when breeding and eating.
Next along the path is the female Malayan Tapir Tapirus Indicus, an endangered species. Tapir skin is very tough, like a rhino, which attracts hunters. Found in the deep forests in Asia, they are shy herbivores, feeding on bark, buds and leaves. When born, the Tapir skin
color is all brown and later turns into the black and white you see here. The Tapir you see here at the Animal Kingdom is 16 years old. She relies heavily on her sense of smell. There is a small pool in the Tapir area so she can get some relief from the heat. They can grow as large as 600 pounds.
(To Be Continued……in the next WDWIG_Ezine)
Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.